I was looking forward to a big triathlon year in 2018. I move into a new age group this year and I would be heading back to Ironman Lake Placid for my 3rd time and hopefully my 5th Ironman finish. Unfortunately, things are not starting off well. We recently got a new Mini-Goldendoodle named Bentley and I started a new position at work, both of which are vying for more of my personal time. I also started having some pain behind my knee after running around the yard with Bentley. It didn’t bother me too much while training, but after running it really hurt going up and down steps. I decided to lay off of it for a week or so and it got much better.
In January, I had started getting into a regular rhythm of training again. Then my Mom got very sick and was in the hospital for a couple weeks. I lost another solid week of training. Fortunately, she was able to make a miraculous recovery and is now in rehabilitation. I finally started getting back into my training again and I can feel a cold starting out right now as I write this. Lovely.
So, who knows how this year will go. I have a Marathon scheduled for mid-April, Eagleman 70.3 in June, Ironman Lake Placid in July and Peasantman Half Iron in August. I also am reading Matt Dixons’ Fast-Track Triathlete book, which I am going to put to the test given my lack of training time this season. Stay-tuned for more on that.
I also have 2-3 blog posts from last season still sitting in draft-mode which I hope to post soon. Two of them are on our travels to Grand Lake, CO and our Croatia-Slovenia trip, the other is my race report from the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Lake Placid. Hope to get those out soon.
I think I may try to get some more posts out this season, but with less content. We’ll see how that goes.
Yesterday, I ran the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in Allentown, PA for the 4th time. Last year I had gotten a new personal best time of 1:45:10 since the first time I ran the race back in 2010 with a time of 1:46:41. 6 years older and over a minute faster.
This year my plan was to start out a little slower so that I had a little more energy for the last half of the race. The second half of the race runs through the Lehigh Parkway which has some crushed stone paths and this short, steep little hills that seem to suck the life out of my legs.
I also planned to down a caffeinated gel around the halfway aid station so I had a little extra energy too. Last year I didn’t eat anything and I thought that may have left me a little depleted at the end.
The race started out well. I was running in the 7:45-7:55/mi pace and was feeling quite comfortable. Heading into the Parkway I kept my cadence steady and slowed a bit on the uphills to try to save my legs a bit. The hills still took their toll on my quads but I managed to keep a little quicker pace than last year.
At around mile 9, I looked at my Garmin virtual race partner and it showed I was about a minute ahead of last year. Hold steady now! Next thing I hear someone say the 1:45 pace group was coming up behind me. WTH?
The pace group passed me on one of the final little inclines and it kind of took some wind out of my sails. I never looked back at my Garmin to see if I really was over 1:45 because I thought it would depress me more. Now I wish I would have.
So I crossed the finish line in 1:45:20. I didn’t realize until I got home, but I had finished 10 seconds slower than last year. It is a bit frustrating to think that a little extra effort and I could have beaten last years time. Well, one thing is for sure I am pretty consistent I guess. Next up, Ironman Boulder!
I have just returned from another fabulous Winter weekend in the Adirondacks to celebrate the New Year. While I was there I had gotten in some ample cross-training time skate-skiing, hiking and some photography. This outdoor time gave me a good amount of time to reflect upon the last year. I keep hearing others saying over-and-over how 2016 was such a horrible year, but for me, not so much.
You would think that as one gets closer to the big 5-0 that PR’s and things would become less frequent. But my 48th year was full of them. What is up with that? Perhaps the fact that I had well preserved myself well during my 20’s and 30’s may have something to do with that.
December(2015) was full of Winter cross-training in Banff National Park in Western Canada. They had gotten a good amount of early season snow there and Lake Placid had none. We hit the downhill slopes at Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, got some snowshoeing in on the Bow River and a ton of photographing the beautiful Winter scenery on the Icefields Parkway leading to Jasper.
In January, we had plans to spend a week in the warmth of Sedona, AZ but that was cut short due to a blizzard that delayed flights for several days. We still ended up with an amazing, activity packed long weekend there. We got out for some amazing hikes and photography some beautiful scenery. I replenished my vitamin D store with the clear skies and bright sunshine. It was a great reset before turning my attention back to the long Ironman training season that lies ahead.
In February I started up my official Ironman training season with Todd Wiley. I had gotten to know Todd over the last year or so through some of his workshops and Lake Placid training camp and really like his personality. He was a prior pro triathlete and has had a lot of success with some pretty high-level athletes over the years, so I thought I would see what he could do with this old, average dude. My goals for the season was to increase my IM run performance while maintaining my bike and swim and finalizing that with a sub-12 hour Ironman.
In March, I had my first official race of the season, The St. Pat’s Allentown 5k. While it is only a 5k, this would be the first test of my fitness to see what I had accomplished during the last two months. I would also use this as my Lactate Threshold(LT) test for my training. It did not disappoint. I finished with a 1 sec PR of 22:45(chip time) over my prior PR from 2013. 3 years older and getting faster.
In April, I took things up a notch and competed in the local St. Luke’s Half Marathon which I hadn’t run in since 2013 when I ran with my wife. I was planning to run it in 2015, but got a stomach bug the morning of and had to bail. My current PR for this race, and half marathons in general, was from back in 2010 when I finished with a 1:46:41(chip time). I also had challenged my co-worker Steve, who is what I would consider more of a “runner”, to a duel for this race. It was a bit of a stretch, but I thought the extra competition would bring out a little extra in motivation for me. Although I didn’t come close to beating him, I did manage to eke out another PR for myself finishing in 1:45:10 after 6 years. 2 races and two PRs…not too shabby a start to 2016.
Next up was my first triathlon of the season, the French Creek Olympic Triathlon. I had never done this race before, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I knew it was a pretty brutal race with a very hilly bike and run, so you could not even compare it to any other Olympic Distance race. I obviously did not PR this race, but I did end up on the podium by taking 3rd in my age group. This was the first podium since my very first multisport race, the Belleplain Duathlon, back in 2008 where I finished 1st in my age group. So now 3 races and 3 top outcomes.
In June I traveled up to Syracuse, NY for the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse triathlon. Another race I had never done before, but was hoping for a good finish here given the prior results so far this season. The race started off well with one of my best half-iron swims and a decent bike leg where I felt I hadn’t “burned too many matches.” The run leg was a different story. The sun came out and the heat turned up towards the end of the bike and my body turned to mush. Reminiscent of the Ironman Couer d’Alene run I fell into a walk-run for the very hilly run course. Ok, you can’t have them all! So with no PR to be had this time, I took my setbacks here and turned it into motivation for the true goal “A” race of the season at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.
July turned out to be a pretty hot month, so I gained some pretty good acclimatization to the heat while training. If Ironman Mont-Tremblant (IMMT) was going to cook me like Syracuse, I was now prepared. Well, as much as someone who does not like the heat can be.
August came around quickly and tapering was in full swing as we made our way up to Mont-Tremblant for the peak race of my year. When race day came I could not have asked for better weather conditions. It was very cloudy in the morning as I prepared to hit the water. A fighter jet buzzed us so close it brought tears to my eyes. Then the cannon blasted and we were off. The rain started during the swim and poured down all day! For me, that was perfect conditions. I was like a pig in the slop.
Due to some choppy lake conditions, my swim was not as fast as I thought it would be, but still one of my faster IM swims. My bike was one of my fastest so far but yet I still held back as I planned to save something for the run. The run was my best ever Ironman run. The rain came down and kept me cool while cranking out some 8:30-9:00 pace miles. I felt amazing the whole time. I blew away my sub-12 hour goal by about 14 minutes and coming away with an Ironman PR of around 50 minutes! I chopped off almost 30 minutes on my IM run time alone. Mission accomplished!
So now 5 races completed for this year and 3 of them were PR’s and 1 podium. What more could I ask for? A fabulous end to an epic season for sure. Proof that aging does not mean you get slower. At least not yet. Maybe by the time I am 50 I can qualify for Kona? 🙂
Usually with the last race of the season comes a little depression that it is all over for another year. I like to schedule something big for after my last race that keeps me on the up-and-up. Just when you think things can’t get any better we headed to Iceland for a two-week journey around the island in a camper.
I let my body recuperate a bit and broke out my camera for an incredible trip. It was the perfect diversion for someone who has only thought about training for the last year. The scenery was out-of-this-world and it was a great end to all the hard work that was put in over the last 8 months. I have been working on a full report blog post on this trip which I hope to be published very soon. Stay tuned for that.
While you would think that was all for this year, I had to do one more race. I signed up for the local South Mountain 10-miler run which was kind of a birthday run for me. I had never done this race before, but it looked to be quite challenging. It starts not too far from the Lehigh Univesity’s Goodwin Campus fields and a makes it was up to the very top of South Mountain, turns around and heads back down again. It is very steep and a big slog. I ended up 40th overall and 6th in my age group. Not a great result really, but I maintained a 8:12 pace which is just a bit off my half marathon pace. It was more for fun so I am not too worried about that.
I concentrated on my photography a bit for the remainder of the year, which tends to play 2nd fiddle to my training. I made a couple trips to Lake Placid and a short trip to Salt Springs State Park(PA) for some photography sessions. I came away with some keepers and also started getting more active with my Instagram feed. I dug back into my photo archives and found some great pictures I had taken in the past that never made it off my laptop.
So now as we head off into 2017 and I set my sights on Ironman Boulder and the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Lake Placid this year, I have great memories looking back on the amazing year that was 2016. Despite what many others have felt. I have so much to be thankful for. I can only hope that 2017 is even half as good as last year.
I can only hope that 2017 is even half as good as last year. Although, it is already shaping up to be a pretty full one. I have several races on the docket and plans are already being hashed out for an amazing trip to Croatia and Slovenia during post-race season. As for goals, Ironman Boulder should be a challenge in itself given the altitude so I am not putting any time goals on myself for that. Perhaps working on pacing myself would be enough. I think Ironman 70.3 Lake Placid may be my A race for the year and I would like to shoot for a half-iron distance PR there.
My other goal for 2017 is to get back to regular blogging here. I have fell off the wagon a bit over the past year so I hope to pick that up again. I have just “cut the cord” and cancelled my cable TV subscription, so besides saving money I plan on spending a little less time in front of the tube.
If you are reading this, I hope you had a great 2016 and a even better 2017 as well. Thanks for reading!
Week 11(Week of 3/9/15) was my first official build week for the journey to Ironman Coeur d’Alene. It did not disappoint. I ended up with about 13 hours total training time and I even missed a couple workouts. My HRV finally moved to back into the green zone indicating I was ready for increased training load. Key workouts were my 2.5 mile pool swim on Friday followed by a solid 3 hour trainer ride on Saturday. My Friday night strength training came back to haunt me during my Sunday long run with some pretty sore legs. I pushed through it but my time was a bit slow. An easy Monday may be in order for the week following.
Training Plan…I am planning on doing 3-week training plan from here on out. That will be 2 weeks of build and 1 week recovery. I have done this in the past and it has worked well for me. Sometimes that third week of a typical 4 week plan is just such a slog that I really don’t get any good quality out of it. I also found that Matt Dixon prescribes a similar approach in his book The Well-Built Triathlete, so thought it may be a good idea.
Diet…Well I haven’t mentioned this much recently, but I have dropped 18 lbs.(woohoo!) since I started my get back to race weight plan on January 1st. I am pretty stoked that this came off rather quickly in about 2 months. The key was really just eliminating the beer and focusing on more cooking and staying away from the processed stuff. I still would like to be down another 10lbs for racing, but I want to just let that come off naturally from the increased training load that is coming my way. Anything under that may be too much for me. I need a little emergency stash for long course triathlon. I won’t be having any beer until after IM Coeur d’Alene.
Yuki…Yuki has been doing pretty well. He is the same dog he has always been and we are still having nightly fetch with the chippie(aka Chippie-toss) and a ton of walks. It just perplexes me how he can be so full of life on the outside, but so sick on the inside. We are keeping him well-fed with home-cooked, whole food meals with lots of veggies and he is loving it. I have never seen him so excited about eating. Granted some of that is from the Prednisone, but I think he really likes it. This cancer is a strange thing. I have to say it really makes me appreciate every moment I spend with him and I am so thankful every day that he is around. I always did, but now I really do.
Pain Cave…So work on my new “pain cave” has been progressing a bit. The drywall has been finished and it is now primered and painted with some Behr “Bleached Denim”. Next up is laying down some TrafficMaster Allure flooring and then paint and put up the trim. I had to move my new treadmill out of there while I was working on it, which was no small feat to do by myself. Think I may have to recruit some help to get it back again. I was thinking of also installing a bathroom exhaust fan to move some of the moisture out of there. Here are some images of the progress so far…
That’s about it for that week. More hard training to come next week and then some recovery. Hopefully, the weather changes a bit and I can migrate to some outdoor rides soon. Thanks for reading.
Only 16 more weeks to go until Ironman Coeur d’Alene! Time to get serious now. This is where many training plans start, so I guess this where I enter my build phase. Probably a good segway here with a couple easy weeks after a pretty solid base phase. Full speed ahead!
This week started out a little slow, but things are calming down on the home front. My dog, Yuki, had a pretty good and is acting like his typical self again. I imagine that is mostly due to the Prednisone he is on now. We have transitioned him to a whole food diet that is more on the alkaline side in order to “starve” the cancer cells. We have read about a few cases(here and here) where dogs being fed this way have outlived there life expectancy. Not sure if that is what did it or not, but he loves his dinners now and it can’t hurt. We are also pumping him up with some other vitamin supplements that help combat cancer cells too.
My HRV was in a bad place early on in the week, which you can see by the orange dots. I have been also letting this guide my training, so I either did a light workout on those days, or just took a rest day altogether. We were supposed to be on vacation this week anyway, so I had no problem doing so. Things did pick up by the weekend and the dots started moving into the right side quadrants and green.
A bit sparse?
Sunday ended up being a pretty nice day out, so I got out for a good walk with my wife and our dog Yuki. I ended up counting this towards my long run as a recovery run. I did push a little harder on my actual run though to get some more speed work. I definitely felt it on Monday morning as my legs were much more more sore than usual.
I appear to be well rested though and now the blue & pink are moving upward again.
The week started off as normal as any other week. I had planned this to be an easier week since we were leaving for Sedona, AZ on Friday. The week prior was a bit light due to my illness, so I thought I would try to get a little extra in during the early part of the week. This would also take some pressure off trying to get in training during the weekend as we settled into Sedona.
Monday was my typical evening trainer ride.
On Tuesday, I needed to take my dog, Yuki, to the groomer immediately after work so my run would be a little later than normal. As I was getting ready to take Yuki to the groomer I was petting him and noticed that he had two lumps on the sides of his neck. Kind of like he had swollen glands. I proceeded to take him to the groomer and was curious if she would notice this too, but she never said anything. I showed them to wife later on when she got home and she was also concerned about it. I immediately called the vet and made an appointment for the next day. The only vet I could get in with was the one we don’t care for at the animal hospital and it wasn’t until 7:30pm Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning my wife Denise and I were talking about it and I decided to call again and see if anything opened up for our preferred veterinarian. Fortunately they had a urgent care appointment open at 10:30am, but it was around $20 more. I didn’t care so I took it.
I left work early and took Yuki over to his appointment. He hates going to the vet and the groomer and now he was doing it two days in a row. Also the groomer and the vet are about a block apart, so as soon as we drive down that street he starts shaking immediately. It is amazing how they know that stuff.
The vet checked him out and asked if he had any symptoms that were out of the ordinary, which he did not. She felt his lumps on his neck and said they were his lymph nodes. She also found that the ones on the back of his legs were also enlarged. She said it could be many things like a virus, infection or the worst, cancer. I would be lying if that thought didn’t cross my mind before, but to hear her say that made my stomach clench. But basically it was his white blood cells fighting something. She took blood and samples of all the lumps to be sent to the lab. She said they should have the results back in the morning and she would call me as soon as she got them. I mentioned that we were supposed to leave for Arizona on Friday and she didn’t think that would be an issue.
To say I was anxious that night and the following morning was an understatement. My stomach was in my throat as I nervously anticipated the results. I don’t know why though. Yuki was as normal as ever. He is so energetic and is always ready for his morning walk as he keeps tabs on all the signposts around the neighborhood. He then greets me every night when I come home from work with his toy chipmunk in his mouth for what we refer to as “Chippie-toss.” This is where I throw the toy through three rooms of the house and he retrieves it and brings it back again. We have been doing this for his entire 12 and-a-half years of his life.
I was suprised to not get any call from the vet as 8:30am approached and I finally had to go to work on Thursday. I had a meeting all morning Thursday and I just sat there looking at the time tick by on my laptop screen with no phone calls. I called the vet to see what was going on and they said she was in with appointments until lunchtime. Lunchtime came and still no call. I ran home at lunch to take Yuki for a walk. I gave her until around 1pm and called the vet again.
I got hold of the vet and she indicated that she had not received the results back yet. She said the status had changed recently, so she knew they were looking at them. The fact that it was taking so long did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. She said she would be in the office doing paperwork all afternoon and promised to call me as soon as they came in.
I pushed through the afternoon trying to stay positive and keep in mind that today was my last day of work before vacation.
It was about ten minutes after 5pm and I was in the middle typing an instant message with a co-worker, advising him on a fitness scale when my iPhone started playing my Gary Glitter ringtone and the name of the animal hospital flashed on the screen. My stomach sank. It was my vet on the other end and she wasted no time as she apologetically told me exactly what I did not want to hear, “Yuki has Lymphoma”. I was stunned. I immediately went into shock, but I knew I needed to pay attention to what our course of action would be. I know Denise would have a million questions too so I needed to focus and write everything down. I somehow maintained my composure.
The vet started giving me the plan ahead of what needed to be done immediately and then what the options were after we knew more about the implications of the disease. First, we would do what they call staging. This would be a chest x-ray at the office that night and then would have to drive down to Malvern, PA the next morning for an ultrasound. Things are about to go fast here.
I immediately texted my wife who was working to see if she was available for a phone call. I didn’t get a immediate response, so I knew she was with a patient. I then packed up my work stuff and headed for home. I was so stunned and the emotions had not really sunk in yet.
As I made my way on my 4 mile drive home from work, I saw my phone flash with a response from my wife that she was there. I pulled into a church parking lot I was passing and called her. As the words “Yuki has Cancer” came out of my mouth I burst into tears. It had now become reality as I echoed those words. My wife instantly emotionally replied words of denial. “No, It cannot be!” She was equally shaken up as we both cried together across the airwaves.
She said she was going to try to get someone to cover her remaining patients for the remainder of the evening. I proceeded the additional mile home. As I pulled in the driveway, there was my little buddy “Yukes” laying in his bed in the bay window as he always does waiting for us to come home. He had no idea what was going on, or maybe he did. It is hard to know that I guess. I broke down again and sat in the car for a few more minutes trying to collect myself.
As I came up the steps to the front door Yuki stood up wagging his tail to greet me. I gave him a huge hug and took him to the sofa to just lay with him. I stroked him constantly as he layed in my lap as we waited for Denise to come home. He is not always into being pet for that long, but today he just stayed there and never tried to leave.
Denise came in the door visibly emotional as she unloaded her stuff. We all just engaged in a family hug for how long I don’t know. I felt like Yuki understood we knew something was up.
I tried to convey what the vet had told me, but said that you should probably give her a call too. Our vet graciously repeated the entire thing again to Denise about what we needed to do. She is the best vet and this is why we prefer her to anyone else.
I told Denise there is no way I was going to Arizona now. Even if we caught this early, I could in no way enjoy this vacation knowing all this. I began looking into cancelling our plans and seeing what our options were.
I took Yuki later Thursday evening for his chest x-ray, and then Friday morning we drove Yukii down to Malvern for his ultrasound at Hope Veterinary clinic. The tech took Yuki back as he swung his head around looking back at us, just crushing us. We waited for about an hour for hm to come out. During that time another guy was sitting in the waiting room on his laptop. They brought out his Westie with a purple bandage on his leg, which was obviously for chemo. He had to let him rest a bit before he left. This did not give us a good feeling about the chemo.
Finally, I heard the familiar jingle of Yuki’s id tag and rabies vaccination tag jingling and before I knew it he was sprinting through the waiting room towards us. I could telll by the look in the Radiologists face that he didn’t have good news. He sympathetically got to the point and I felt my stomach drop again. I somehow maintained my composure as he delivered the bad news.
The cancer had spread to his liver and spleen.
He continued on, basically telling us the same things that our vet had told us. The on-staff oncologist was not in the office that day, so we had no one else to talk to. The radiologist sincerely apologized several times for the news. I could see even he was welling up in his eyes. He gave Yuki a little pet and a few words of encouragement before he left. We just sat there in shock with tears streaming down our faces. How could my energetic little dog be dying inside? I just could not grasp the reality of it all.
The hour and fifteen minute drive was a very quiet one. I went in and out of breaking down while holding Yuki in my lap. He would get up every so often to look out the front car window like he always does. We ran out to the store Friday night to load up on some fresh, organic vegetables for him and stopped at the Thai restaurant for something to eat. We started giving Yuki some Flax Seed Oil and Cottage cheese after reading about some success with the Budwig diet for dogs with lymphoma cancer.
On Saturday morning, I also reached out to the lady that we were renting the apartment from on AIrBnB. The cancellation policy stated that there were no refunds when cancelling less than a week before arrival, but I thought I would see if there were any other options. She responded back and said that we could exchange it for a different week and provided a few open weeks this year. She also wrote how she had dealt with Lymphoma in one of her dogs as well and highly recommended Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer book for us to read. I downloaded it immediately from Kindle and began reading it. It is a great source of information for your dog. Also check out their website at dogcancerblog.com. It recommended a low carb type diet of whole food for your dog, so we started Yuki on a meat and cooked vegetables diet immediately. Our host also said we coud re-arrange the trip for the same time next year and we would keep in touch. She was so helpful and supportive, which is above and beyond the level of service expected for sure. You don’t get that at a hotel.
Later on that morning we took Yuki for a good walk down at the local park after his breakfast and some cottage cheese and flax oil. When we got back, I kept hearing Yuki’s tags jingling away in the hallway. When I got to him I noticed blood splattered on the floor. I started panicking trying to figure out where it was coming from. It turned out to be his nose.
While I was cleaning that up, I heard him vomit in the other room. When I went in there he had vomitted all over the inside his crate. It was bloody cottage cheese and flax oil. I didn’t know if the blood was just from his nose or from his stomach too. I had to lasso him with his leash to get him away from it because he gets very possessive of his puke for some reason. He came out without too much effort though. Then he sneezed and blood just flew all over the floor. I looked at Denise and said “We have to go to the vet now!”
We rushed to the vet and they quickly took us into a exam room. Now the nose had stopped bleeding altogether. I was relieved it did, but now we were looking like freaked out dog owners. They did think it was related though. We also told them we were still waiting for our regular vet to call us, so they would try to get her on the phone.
We talked to the vet for awhile. She basically reiterated what the radiologist had said the day before. She feared that the chemo would be too much for Yuki’s liver to take and we definitely agreed with her. Not only the internal stress it would put on my little buddy, but also the stress of having to go to the vet every week and get stuck. We just didn’t want to put him through all that. So, it was a pretty easy decision to put him on the Prednisone steroid and try to make him as comfortable as possible.
We headed home and stopped off for some Pepcid at the local CVS to help calm his stomach. He ended up having a few more nosebleeds, but we held some ice on his nose and they eventually stopped altogether. Now I just hoped things would stay calm from now until Monday, because it anything happened we would have to run down to Malvern again since they are 24-7 with vets on staff. Our local animal hospital was closed until Monday at 8am.
The next stress was trying to get Yuki to take the prednisone. He now knows that peanut butter means medicine and he won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. We tried some different food and he would smell the meds immediately. Smart little bugger! We were using up pills just trying to get him to take one dosage. Denise finally got the idea of using some butter(ghee actually) and some raw honey with the crushed up pill in it. It worked like a charm! What a relief.
Saturday night went by pretty smoothly and Yuki perked up a bit. I thought it was the meds, but he actually perked up before we gave it to him. All the grandparents had stopped by to see him, so maybe just the attention helped too.
Sunday was a good day too. We got Yuki out for a walk again, just not quite as long. Still no nosebleeds! I even managed to get on the treadmill for an hour too. Oh yeah…training how about that? Kind of funny how unimportant that becomes now. One thing that I found a bit interesting is how my HRV is affected by this. I am getting regular reminders of how stressed I am and that I should relax or change my plan. I wish it was that easy!
Well, It looks like it is going to be a bumpy road ahead here. I don’t know what to expect, but we will just have to take it one day at a time and enjoy every precious moment with our little Yuki.
The goal of this past week was to keep a somewhat active without getting carried away. I needed to keep reminding myself that I already have the fitness I need and that nothing I do now will increase that, but I can only ruin that by overtraining. I planned the week by doing two workout of each discipline. The weather last week was also amazing, which made it even harder to keep it short.
I REALLY felt great this past week. Cycling especially! It barely feels like I am exerting myself and I am holding a 18 MPH avg pace on both rides. I am avoiding any longer climbs just to keep it light. Everything feels ready to go for Timberman 70.3.
If you have read this blog before, you may recall my dealings with getting stung on the bike several times last year. You can check out here and here for more on that. I was thinking the other day how I had not been stung at all this year, but that came to an end when I was cutting the grass the other night and I ran over a hornets nest in the ground. I got whacked on the hand and knee which swelled up pretty good that night.
I also cut my finger while trying to talk and cut peppers the other night. I am not a multitasker for sure. I cut right through half of my finger nail and my finger and it was hard to stop the bleeding. It eventually did, but my nail keeps catching on things.
On Saturday Denise and I volunteered for our local Alburtis 5k race which we have done for the last several years. We usually help out with registration and packet pickup and then I take photos of all the runners which we sell to help raise some extra money for the Alburtis Area Community Center. Turnout was fairly decent this year and we had the timing done by Pretzel City Sports which takes some of the complication out of the process. The Alburtis Tavern was a big sponsor again and they provided drink coupons to any one participating or involved with the race.
Ironman Coeur d’Alene Update
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have registered for Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015. I had originally thought I would be taking a year off from doing any full Ironmans, but things change. I got the green light from my wife, so I wasted no time gettting on that. It feels good to have another race to look forward to and I am already thinking about what I want to do differently next season. I will be posting a lessons learned post from Ironman Lake Placid 2014 soon.
I have already purchased our airline tickets IMCDA since I thought they were fairly reasonable. I also have a place to stay in the works right now which I found on AirBnb. It is located about 20 minutes out of town and on the edge of the National Forest. It will be a good location for activity I think since we are going to be vacationing the week after the event.
I am planning using TriBike Transport for getting my bike out there. This was recommended by Maria, from RunningALife.com, since she had used this service last year. I weighed the prices and pros & cons and this seemed like the best option. For $325 they will deliver my bike intact to the race location and return it back again. The only downside is that I have to drive it down to Cadence Bike Shop in Manayunk(near Philadelphia, PA) the week before the race and then pick it up again after. It is about an hour each way. Other options were cheaper, but required breaking bike down, packing it up, having somewhere to ship it and carrying it around with me. We will be staying out there for the week after and I really didn’t want to deal with that. The Quintana Roo rentals was another option, but it is almost the same price depending on the bike and you have no power meter and some bike you never rode before.
Well, next week will be another easy taper week. The pool I go to is closed for maintenance next week so no swimming until I get up to
Lake Winnipesaukee later in the week. I am planning on doing 2 rest days Monday and Thursday, with a couple light workouts in between. Looks like a long drive on either THursday night or Friday morning.
Ok, I have been slacking big time on the posts here. I actually had aspirations of catching up during our recent winter vacation, but was so busy skiing and snowshoeing that I never even got one out. Since I have been home we have been getting bombarded with snow, so I have been busy shoveling away.
So all this shoveling got me thinking. How much effort does all this shoveling require? You know like calories, watts, and heart rate. Can I include this as training in my Ironman training plan? So armed with my Cycleops PowerCal power/heart rate monitor and Garmin 910xt, I decided to try to quantify it.
Here is a video from Day 1 of Winter Storm Pax…
Day one was pretty easy. The temperatures was below freezing, so the snow was nice and fluffy making for a pretty easy job. I then uploaded the data from my Garmin after the first round of shoveling on day 1. Here you can see that in 46 minutes of shoveling averaged 129 beats per minute and normalized average power output of 164 watts. That is a fairly decent workout. If comparing that to a run or bike it is probably a Zone 2 or low Zone 3 aerobic or endurance type workout. The TSS and IF indicate about the same. I think that would be good enough to make up for the swim workout I missed that day. It also said that I burned 411calories too(not pictured), so I can have a little extra snack on top that too! My heart rate may have also been a bit high since I was pretty jacked up on coffee while I did this too.
The second day of shoveling was a bit more difficult. We had gotten a sufficient amount of rain, sleet and ice during the afternoon and then the snow in the evening was very wet. I was up early so I could clear the driveway for my wife to get to work. I attacked the end of the driveway first since I knew that stuff would weigh a ton. It did! I was also running out of places to put the snow, so I had to toss it higher and farther than before. Not cool. Anyway I eventually completed it in about the same time as yesterday, except I didn’t include the back porch in this one.
My heart rate was surprisingly lower this time. Must be due to having a little less caffeine coursing through my veins today. Since the PowerCal calculates power based on a heart rate algorithm, my power was also a bit less. Intensity Factor(IF) was fairly close though. I also burned about 400 calories here too.
Now I at least have a idea of what type of workout shoveling snow is. At the end of the day, it is still a stress on your system and you need to take that into account when training. It could get you an extra nap too!